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Pomacentrus pavo the type species of the genus Pomacentrus
Corl0096 (28009595452).jpg
Abudefduf abdominalis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Family: Pomacentridae
Subfamily: Pomacentrinae
Bonaparte, 1831[1]

Pomacentrinae is one of four subfamilies in the family Pomacentridae which includes the clownfishes and the damselfishes. It is the most diverse of the subfamilies in the Pomacentridae with around 21 genera and approximately 200 species.


The species within the Pomacentrinae have orb-like to moderately elongated bodies and they do not have spiny caudal rays projecting out of the caudal peduncle.[2] The majority of species display territoriality and they defend of feeding territory from members of their own species and other species which compete with them for food. They feed on algae, which they appear to cultivate, actively increasing the algal productivity within their territories. Many species lay demersal eggs, which are guarded and fanned by the male.[3] One species, the freshwater demoiselle Neopomacentrus taeniurus is known to enter estuaries and even reaches into the lowest stretches of streams.[2]


The 5th Edition of Fishes of the World states that the Pomacentrinae is most likely to be paraphyletic but does not break the subfamily into different lineages.[2] Other authorities split the Pomacentrinae into the subfamilies Abudefdufinae and Stegastinae and include the Amphiprioninae, the clownfishes as the tribe Amphiprionini within the Pomacentrinae.[4]


The following genera are classified in the Pomacentrinae:[2]


  1. ^ Bailly N, ed. (2013). "Pomacentrinae Boaparte, 1831". FishBase. World Register of Marine Species.
  2. ^ a b c d J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 752. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6.
  3. ^ "Pomacentrinae". Microcosm Aquarium Explorer. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  4. ^ James Cooper W; Smith LL; Westneat MW. (2009). "Exploring the radiation of a diverse reef fish family: phylogenetics of the damselfishes (Pomacentridae), with new classifications based on molecular analyses of all genera". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 52 (1): 1–16. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.12.010. PMID 19135160. Abstract